SalesForce.com

ZAP simplifies and speeds up the collection, organization and visualization of data for users of Salesforce.com’s renown CRM software and “Customer Success Platform”. Here we explain the business and technical benefits, features and functionality that ZAP brings to Salesforce.com and get IDC’s take on the value of data management and analytics for CRM.

The business brief

ZAP for Salesforce.com improves the financial and operational performance of businesses using one of the world’s most popular CRM systems by speeding up and simplifying the collection, organization and analysis of CRM and related data.

A data-driven business makes confident decisions quickly, based on truth. ZAP automates the collection and integration of data from SalesForce.com and other applications and data sources, to provide a business-wide view of all performance and activity. The ability to integrate hitherto-inaccessible or siloed data strengthens business decision making, by unlocking previously hidden insight.

Relevant information is delivered, on any device, via personalized dashboards specifically aligned to Salesforce.com roles, be they Sales Representative or VP Sales via Sales Manager, Marketing Manager or CMO. While ZAP’s powerful self-service reporting, visualization and dashboarding capabilities also enable secure data exploration.

Conscious of short- and long-term IT overheads, ZAP has been specifically designed to be rapid to deploy and simple to administer. TCO is reduced, ROI is increased and business insight is delivered immediately thanks to pre-packaged components, automation and ‘out-of-the-box’ capabilities which reduce setup and maintenance costs.

ZAP has pre-packaged data models for both Sales- (covering opportunities, orders and invoices) and Marketing-focused (campaigns and leads) Salesforce.com teams. Both can be set up and and live within a matter of days. Data extraction includes all metadata required for captions, keys and relationships. And operational reporting is enhanced with friendly datawarehouse schema. The analytics provision within ZAP measures activity, performance and forecasts with pre-set, best-practice calculations, and out-of-the-box dashboards that align exactly with SalesForce.com roles and functions.

Security and data governance are integral to ZAP for Salesforce.com, with dashboard-based and dashboard-integrated permission setting, access regulation, usage monitoring and auditing.

Overview from IDC 

According to the IDC Market Note, ZAP: Improving Time to Insight for Midsize Firms (doc #EMEA43048517, September 2017):

IDC Logo

“IDC’s research indicates that to fully address their business intelligence requirements, midsize firms are looking for simplified prepackaged solutions,” reports the world-renown analyst firm. “Ideally, these are aligned to their industry, require less technical expertise to use and implement, and provide prebuilt components for data transformation, modeling, and analysis using preconfigured templates and workflows…”

“These factors also govern the choice and selection of any BI reporting and data warehousing solutions, and this is where ZAP comes in. ZAP’s solution aims to automate elements of the time-consuming and more complex aspects of manually building a data warehousing and BI platform. A good example of this is the support and prepackaged content ZAP provides for specific development tasks, including data connectivity. Data connectors for files, cloud applications or services, and on-premises relational databases are supported including Salesforce.com.”

Six key facets

Salesforce.com-based businesses become information-empowered with ZAP thanks to six key facets: hybrid scalability, automated data integration, pre-set flexible data models, built-in governance, analytics and visualizations.

Hybrid scalability

ZAP for Salesforce.com, or any of its elements, can be deployed either in the cloud, on-premise or as a hybrid combination of the two. Its architecture is specifically designed to flex and scale as both the volume of users and the volume of data in an organisation increases over time. Private or public cloud deployments can be set up on either AWS or Azure. And a data gateway provides straightforward, optimized access to on-premise data sources via the cloud or across existing networks and firewalls.

Automated data integration

Connection to—and collection of—Salesforce.com data is automated by ZAP. Out-of-the-box connection to other cloud and on-premise data sources is provided, too. All data collected is integrated quickly and simply in a secure, highly governed central hub of business-wide insight. Further data sources can be added at any time in the future.

Pre-set, flexible data models

ZAP has a pre-packaged Salesforce.com data model that delivers immediate reporting across all areas of the application. A user-friendly data modeling interface with drag-and-drop UX allows data to be customized to meet even the most demanding reporting requirements. IT overheads are reduced as users of all levels of expertise can prepare data for reporting in a secure accurate and governed way. Technical effort is further reduced by ZAP’s data warehouse and semantic layer automation, which remove the need for a manual data warehouse project.

Built-in governance

Data governance is at the heart of ZAP. Our systems have strong, comprehensive system administration and data governance tools built-in. Enterprise-class security controls set permissions, regulate access and protect data at any level of granularity. ROI is maximised as usage can be both monitored and audited via specific dashboards, which keeps performance optimized and costs minimized. TCO is controlled as upgrade life-cycles can be actively managed via a pre-packaged tool set to ensure consistency of data and business continuity at every turn.

Analytics and visualizations

Self-service reporting is delivered via both enterprise-class analytics and data visualization tools. Our responsive, touch-friendly user interface—for ready-to-use, role-based dashboards—adapts to any device, which ramps up user adoption across the business.

Easy-to-adapt, dynamic analytics systems enable drill-down data discovery and information sharing, while powerful data modeling capabilities are accessed via an intuitive, user-friendly UI. Data can be safely and securely customized to meet any reporting demand, with no specific requirements for high-level technical expertise.

For sales teams, ZAP has over 100 pre-built analytics—dashboards, reports and calculations—that measure pipeline, closure, performance, people and customer delivery. And with two role based dashboards, 29 pre-built charts and reports, and 52 calculations and KPIs, marketing teams are equally well catered for, and equally equipped to become a data-driven, quantifiable part of the business.